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Cutting-Edge Employment Law Issues 2018: The California Difference

Speaker(s): Andrew P. Lee, Ben Hancock, Caroline P. Donelan, Deborah K. Marcuse, Erin M. Connell, Jason C. Marsili, Jessica Stender, John T. Mullan, Laura L. Ho, Robert A. Hawley, Robert R. Roginson, Sara E. Dionne, Timothy J. Long, Victoria R. Carradero
Recorded on: Sep. 13, 2018
PLI Program #: 221265

Erin M. Connell, Co-chair of Orrick's EEO & OFCCP Compliance Group and Pay Equity Task Force, represents employers in high stakes employment litigation and is an expert in equal employment opportunity law, pay equity, and OFCCP compliance.

Erin's practice covers all aspects of employment law. She defends employers in class actions and other complex cases, as well as in systemic investigations and audits by the EEOC, OFCCP, and the California DFEH. Erin has led dozens of internal pay equity analyses and is a trusted advisor for several of the nation's most prominent employers on developing areas of employment law, including DEI, OFCCP compliance, pay equity, and issues stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Erin also is an accomplished trial lawyer. She has tried several cases before juries and in arbitration, and has obtained numerous defense summary judgment rulings and other favorable resolutions in state and federal court. Erin led the trial team that obtained a complete dismissal for Oracle in OFCCP v. Oracle, the largest pay equity case ever brought by OFCCP, which garnered national media attention and earned Erin recognition as a Litigator of the Week by the American Lawyer and a 2021 Employment MVP by Law360.

Erin is currently the management chair of the ABA Equal Employment Opportunity Committee. She is also a faculty member with the Institute for Workplace Equality (IWE), and frequently speaks on California and national employment law issues, including for IWE, the ABA, the Practicing Law Institute (PLI) and the American Employment Legal Council (AELC). She has published numerous articles on employment law in publications around the country, including the ABA Journal of Law & Employment Law. She also provides employment law training and conducts internal investigations on employment-related matters.



Andrew P. Lee is a partner at Goldstein, Borgen, Dardarian & Ho, a plaintiffs’ public interest class action law firm.  Mr. Lee’s practice focuses on class and complex litigation.  Mr. Lee is an experienced employment lawyer, having litigated wage and hour, employment discrimination, and background check class actions.  He is also a member of the firm’s disability rights practice, litigating systemic injunctive relief class actions against government entities and large business organizations on behalf of persons with disabilities. 

From 2012 to 2015, Mr. Lee was one of the authors of the California chapter of Wage and Hour Laws, A State-by-State Survey (BNA).  He has been selected by Super Lawyers as a Northern California Rising Star from 2015 to 2017. He is a graduate of U.C. Berkeley and U.C. Hastings College of the Law.

Ben Hancock is an award-winning journalist with nearly a decade of experience covering technology, law, economic policy, and international affairs. He is currently Data Editor at ALM Media, publisher of The Recorder, The American Lawyer, The National Law Journal,, and a number of other legal industry news outlets across the United States. In that role, he combines computer programming, data analysis, and traditional reporting to lead the newsroom’s efforts to produce more powerful data-driven journalism.

Prior to taking on his current role, Ben was a litigation reporter for ALM covering California courts and the intersection of technology and the law. He won the 2018 Jesse H. Neal award for “Best Range of Work by a Single Author” for his reporting about the future of law. In 2016, he won recognition from the California News Publishers Association for his coverage of the fallout over the class action settlement in the Uber driver litigation.

In addition to the Uber cases, Ben has covered other major employment law court battles involving cutting-edge issues, including the landmark “gig economy” case against GrubHub, and the various lawsuits against Google over employee conduct on its online internal forums. He has also reported extensively about arbitration and the growing litigation finance industry.

Ben previously worked in Washington D.C, where he covered international trade policy and the politics of trade in Congress for Inside U.S. Trade, a specialty publication serving an audience of government officials, legislative staff, think tanks, and lawyers around the world. He led the publication's coverage of U.S.-European Union trade affairs, and traveled on assignment twice to Southeast Asia for coverage the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations.

A fluent Korean-speaker, Ben also lived in Seoul, South Korea, where he was a freelance correspondent and a staff copy editor for the Yonhap News Agency. He currently lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. Outside of work, he can usually be found studying more about the Python programming language or hiking out on a Bay Area trail with his family.

Caroline Donelan is a Partner in the Labor & Employment practice group at Blank Rome LLP’s Los Angeles office. She counsels and defends domestic and foreign corporations in all areas of employment law compliance, with significant experience litigating complex employment matters including wage and hour class actions, wrongful termination, discrimination, harassment, trade secret disputes and data protection. Caroline has particularly deep experience representing employers in healthcare, security, hospitality and financial services.

Caroline’s proactive risk management practice includes drafting and auditing key workplace policies, practices and procedures, conducting onsite training, managing workplace investigations, and providing day-to-day counseling on the wide variety of employment issues her clients face. She is a frequent panelist and author on issues relevant to California wage and hour compliance as well as harassment prevention and promoting diversity and inclusion in the workplace.

Caroline also provides transactional support and advice on stock and asset purchase agreements, including buy- and sell-side due diligence and negotiating executive agreements.

Caroline is the co-founder of MAMAs LA (Mother Attorneys Mentoring Association), a family-friendly networking and support organization focused on the distinct issues women face while toggling the dual role of mother and attorney, including work-life balance, diversity and inclusion in the workplace, and women’s advancement. She also devotes nearly 100% of her pro bono practice to helping non-profit organizations providing services to children.

Caroline received her BA at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where she graduated with honors, and her JD at Loyola University Chicago School of Law.


Jason C. Marsili is a partner at Rosen Marsili Rapp LLP in Los Angeles.  His practice focuses on class and collective wage and hour litigation on behalf of both unrepresented and unionized employees involving violations of the FLSA and state law.  Additionally, Mr. Marsili handles individual matters concerning medical leaves, employment discrimination, sexual harassment, and wrongful termination, as well as labor-management relations and executive compensation.  He holds a Master’s Degree in Dispute Resolution from the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution and teaches negotiation and mediation advocacy courses at USC School of Law.  Mr. Marsili is an active member of both the American Bar Association (ABA) Section of Labor & Employment Law and the Los Angeles County Bar Association (LACBA) Labor & Employment Law Section.  He currently serves as a Co-Chair of the ABA Federal Labor Standards Legislation Committee.  He also serves as an officer on the Executive Committee for the LACBA Labor & Employment Law Section and is a member of the Board of Governors for the Italian American Lawyers Association.

Jessica Stender joined Equal Rights Advocates (ERA) in 2015. As Senior Counsel for Workplace Justice & Public Policy, Jessica is responsible for leading ERA’s Women at Work Initiative by supporting and developing litigation and leading ERA’s policy advocacy with a focus on employment discrimination, including sexual harassment, pay and pregnancy discrimination. Jessica coordinates the Stronger California Advocates Network, a statewide network of organizations and coalitions promoting policy reform to improve the economic security of women and families in California. She serves as Vice Chair of the Women’s Rights Committee of the American Bar Association’s Section on Civil Rights and Social Justice, Co-Chair of the Policy Committee of the National Taskforce on Tradeswomen Issues, and is a member of the Policy Committee of the national Equal Pay Today! campaign.

Prior to joining ERA, Jessica served as Legal Director of Centro de los Derechos del Migrante, Inc. (Center for Migrants Rights), a transnational migrant workers’ rights organization based in Mexico. There, Jessica advocated on behalf of low-wage migrant workers in U.S. courts and before U.S. government agencies and worked with advocates in the U.S. to facilitate representation of migrant worker clients in Mexico.

Prior to joining CDM, Jessica was a Civil Rights Fellow at the public interest class action firm Goldstein, Borgen, Dardarian & Ho, where she represented workers in civil rights and employment class action cases. Jessica graduated from U.C. Berkeley School of Law in 2009, where she served as Senior Executive Editor of the Berkeley Journal of Employment and Labor Law and Co-Chair of the Boalt Hall Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild.  Before law school, Jessica worked as a paralegal at Friends of Farmworkers in Philadelphia, providing legal assistance to migrant farmworkers throughout Pennsylvania.

John T. Mullan is a partner at Rudy, Exelrod, Zieff & Lowe LLP, long recognized as one of California and the country’s leading law firms specializing in the representation of individuals and classes in employment disputes. 

Since joining the firm in 2002, Mr. Mullan has worked extensively on the firm's wage and hour class action litigation in state and federal courts, as well as the litigation and negotiation of individual employment law claims, including claims for wrongful termination, harassment, discrimination, and retaliation.

Mr. Mullan has been a contributing author on several amicus briefs pertaining to employment matters filed on behalf of the National Employment Lawyers Association, the National Employment Law Project, and the AFL-CIO. In addition, he is a Supervising Attorney for the Workers' Rights Clinic of the San Francisco Legal Aid Society-Employment Law Center, and has spoken on employment law issues for the Labor and Employment Section of the State Bar of California, Continuing Education of the Bar (CEB), the Practicing Law Institute (PLI), and the Employment Law Center. Since August 2010, Mr. Mullan has been a contributor to the Fair Labor Standards Act treatise published by the American Bar Association Section of Labor and Employment Law, and, beginning in 2011, he is a Chapter Editor for The Rutter Group’s Employment Litigation California Practice Guide.  He is co-author, along with his colleague, David A. Lowe, of The Recorder’s 2012 publication, “California Employment Law Forms,” and a co-author, along with his colleague, Chaya Mandelbaum of The Recorder's 2016 publication, "California Business Litigation" (Employment Law Chapter).

Mr. Mullan has been recognized as a Northern California Super Lawyer since 2013.  Prior to that, he was recognized as a "Rising Star for Northern California" by Super Lawyers. He is a member of the Labor and Employment Section of the State Bar of California, the Labor and Employment Section of the Bar Association of San Francisco, the National Employment Lawyers Association and the California Employment Lawyers' Association. Mr. Mullan is a member of the State Bar of California.

Mr. Mullan received both his J.D. and his B.A. from the University of California at Berkeley.

Laura L. Ho joined Goldstein, Borgen, Dardarian & Ho in 1998 and has been a partner since 2005. Her current practice focuses on California and federal wage and hour class and collective actions. Ms. Ho has also represented non-profit organizations as amici curiae in a number of cases affecting California employees in the California Court of Appeal and Supreme Court, and Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.  She also regularly gives presentations on the subjects of California and federal wage and hour class and collective actions. Ms. Ho speaks Mandarin Chinese.

Ms. Ho received California Lawyer magazine’s California Lawyer of the Year Award (CLAY) in 2009 for her achievements in employment law, was named Best Lawyer’s 2014 Lawyer of the Year for Oakland in Litigation—Labor and Employment, and is regularly recognized as a Northern California Super Lawyer.

Robert Hawley served as Deputy Executive Director of the State Bar of California and then Acting Executive Director.  His areas of responsibility for the State Bar, included oversight of the State Bar’s Professional Competence Unit which administers the Ethics Hotline, the Committee on Professional Responsibility and Conduct (COPRAC), the State Bar’s professional responsibility publications and other functions related to the development of California's Rules of Professional Conduct.  He also oversaw the State Bar’s internal operations and served as the State Bar’s employee relations officer overseeing all labor and employment functions.

He received his Juris Doctorate (J.D.) degree from the University of California, Hastings College of Law and his Masters in Law (LL.M) in labor law from New York University, School of Law.

Mr. Hawley began his legal career as a disciplinary prosecutor for the State Bar.  He then entered private practice for over ten years representing management in labor and employment matters before state and federal courts and administrative agencies.  He served as a member of the State Bar’s Standing Committee on Professional Responsibility and Conduct (COPRAC) as well as its Chair and Special Advisor, as a hearing officer in the former voluntary State Bar Court, as a frequent MCLE speaker, and as a qualified expert witness in professional responsibility and labor law matters.  Prior to rejoining the State Bar’s staff as its chief labor counsel, he served as Risk Management Chair and Deputy Managing Partner for a major Bay Area law firm.

Mr. Hawley has taught Professional Responsibility and labor law at various Bay Area law schools for the past twenty years, and is currently on the adjunct faculty of Pacific McGeorge School of Law.

Mr. Hawley is the recipient of the National Organization of Bar Counsel’s 2014 President’s Award, recognizing lifetime achievement and service in attorney regulation.

Robert Roginson is a shareholder in the firm’s Los Angeles office. His practice includes all aspects of employment and labor law litigation and counseling for employers.

Mr. Roginson has represented private and public employers in state and federal courts and administrative agencies. Mr. Roginson has defended dozens of employers in class actions involving a variety of allegations, including employee misclassification, meal and rest period violations, off-the-clock claims, and record keeping violations. Mr. Roginson focuses on bringing creative solutions to complex legal problems. He has negotiated several settlements of wage/hour class and representative actions on terms favorable to the companies. He also counsels employers and companies on California and federal wage/hour and pay practice laws, prevailing wage laws, project labor agreements (PLAs), reduction in force issues and WARN notification requirements, labor relations and union matters, tribal immunity and sovereignty issues, and retaliation and discrimination claims.

From November 2007 until March 2010, Mr. Roginson served as Chief Counsel for the California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE). Appointed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, Mr. Roginson represented and advised the California Labor Commissioner and her staff in all aspects of enforcement and interpretation of California’s labor and wage/hour laws, licensing requirements, and retaliation statutes. He also managed and directed the Division’s litigation and handled matters involving meal and rest period compliance and enforcements, public works and prevailing wage requirements, child labor and work permit issues, the Talent Agency Act, farm labor contracting, garment manufacturing, and the Private Attorney General Act (PAGA).

As Chief Counsel, Mr. Roginson authored DLSE amicus briefs and opinion letters, including:

  • DLSE amicus brief in the California Supreme Court meal period case, Brinker Restaurant Corp. v. Superior Court (Hohnbaum)
  • DLSE opinion letter affirming California’s on-duty meal period requirements
  • DLSE opinion letter affirming an employer’s right to take deductions for vacation and sick time for partial-day absences for exempt employees
  • DLSE opinion letter affirming an employer’s right to implement proportionate salary and work schedule reductions for exempt employees
  • DLSE opinion letter authorizing the use of debit paycards and convenience checks
  • DLSE opinion letter approving summertime alternative workweek schedule

Mr. Roginson also co-wrote and edited the DLSE’s Public Works Manual.

Prior to joining Ogletree Deakins, Mr. Roginson worked in the industrial relations department for the Associated General Contractors of California (AGC of California), where he represented construction contractors in labor grievance and arbitration matters in addition to the negotiation of the Southern California Basic Trades Master Labor Agreements.

Sara Dionne is an attorney in Sutter Health’s Employment Law Department.  In this role, she provides employment law counseling to and manages litigation for Sutter Health and its affiliates.  Her practice covers a variety of employment law issues, including wage-and-hour, disability, discrimination, harassment, and retaliation issues.

Sara graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California, Irvine in 1999.  She earned her Juris Doctorate from the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law in 2002.  Prior to joining Sutter Health, Sara was a Senior Associate at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP.  She has published and presented on numerous employment law topics, including class and collective actions, wage-and-hour law, arbitration, and disability issues.    

Timothy Long has deep experience litigating complex labor and employment issues, having served as lead counsel in multiple class, collective, and representative actions and advising on dozens more. Tim litigates wage-and-hour matters, including exemption, incentive compensation, independent contractor, off-the-clock, and pay practice claims. He also has defeated class and collective certification (including at Stage One) in exemption, off-the-clock, and pay practice cases.

Tim advises businesses on employment litigation and other types of claims. He litigates employment discrimination and wrongful termination claims, as well as matters involving trade secrets. Tim provides counsel on many corporate matters and often advises entertainment industry employers on emerging issues. Tim has both prosecuted and defended employers in trade secret and unfair business practices litigation. He has also resisted competitor efforts to enjoin the lawful practices of his clients.

Tim represents employers before state and federal administrative agencies, including the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the Internal Revenue Service, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), the California Department of Fair Employment & Housing (DFEH), Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE), and Employment Development Department (EDD). He also conducts workplace investigations and audits.

Tim has wide-ranging experience handling traditional labor relations matters, including advising on certification and decertification elections. Throughout his career, he has litigated dozens of traditional labor disputes, representing clients in courts, before the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), and in private arbitration. Tim also advises clients on labor relations issues that arise in mergers and acquisitions.

Deborah K. Marcuse is Baltimore Managing Partner and Co-Chair of the Title VII Practice at Sanford Heisler Sharp, LLP, a national law firm with offices in Washington, D.C., New York, California, Tennessee, and Maryland. She represents employees in individual and class actions addressing a wide range of employment disputes, including suits alleging discrimination, unlawful termination, unlawful denial of promotions, unequal pay, wage and hour violations, and hostile work environments related to race, gender, age, national origin, sexual orientation, pregnancy, religion, and disability.

Ms. Marcuse is currently Lead Counsel in Smith, et al. v. Merck & Co., Inc. (D.N.J.), a gender discrimination class action filed on behalf of thousands of female pharmaceutical sales representatives nationwide, and Does v. Morrison & Foerster, LLP (N.D. Cal.), a gender, pregnancy and maternity discrimination class action on behalf of female attorneys at the firm. Among her individual cases, Ms. Marcuse represents the former Head of Americas Research at Cushman & Wakefield in her lawsuit alleging age and gender discrimination and retaliation by the commercial real estate giant. Ms. Marcuse also represents female attorneys at several of the most prominent law firms around the country in their claims of gender discrimination and retaliation against their employers.

Ms. Marcuse regularly speaks on issues of gender discrimination, including pay equity and the particularly challenges faced by women in the legal industry. She is actively involved in the National Employment Lawyers’ Association, where she serves as Co-Chair of the Class and Collective Action Practice Group. Ms. Marcuse has co-authored Supreme Court amicus briefs on behalf of women’s rights organizations and individuals in Mach Mining v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and on behalf of LGBT student organizations at undergraduate, graduate, and professional schools in Obergefell v. Hodges.

Ms. Marcuse is a graduate of Yale Law School. Before becoming a lawyer, Ms. Marcuse studied the intersection of religion and moral regulation at Duke University, where she received her Ph.D. in Religion in 2005.

Victoria R. Carradero is a partner in the Menlo Park, CA office of Curley, Hurtgen & Johnsrud specializing in employment defense litigation.

Ms. Carradero is a litigator with extensive federal and state court employment law experience. Her litigation experience includes, among other matters, complex discrimination, harassment and retaliation suits, whistleblower cases, and contract and tort claims. She also advises clients on the full range of issues impacting the employment relationship, from litigation avoidance and risk assessment, and investigation strategy to employer policies, employee classifications, performance management and disciplinary issues.

Previously, Ms. Carradero practiced civil defensive litigation as an Assistant U.S. Attorney with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Northern District of California and before that practiced employment defense litigation on behalf of employers in a broad range of industries with Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe, LLP.  She has substantial litigation experience in a diverse set of industries, including technology, financial services, retail, transportation, telecommunications and emerging new businesses. She has both arbitration and trial experience, including as first-chair, as well as appellate experience. 

Ms. Carradero is admitted to practice in all California state and federal courts. She received her law degree from Stanford Law School and her undergraduate degree from the University of California – Berkeley. 

Ms. Carradero is proud of her pro bono work assisting children, the elderly and various non-profit organizations. She is a past recipient of the Pro Bono Advocate Award from Legal Services for Children and was a member of the legal teams for which Orrick received the Law Foundation of Silicon Valley’s Founder’s Award and the Pro Bono Partnership's Law Firm Volunteer of the Year  Award.                                               

Ms. Carradero resides in San Francisco with her husband, two sons, and two rescue dogs. Outside of spending quality time with her family, she enjoys reading, wine tasting, and traveling when leisure time permits.